How can we energise climate action in the West?
25th May 2023
Bristol is known as a hub of climate action. From the first council declaration of a climate emergency to businesses planning for net zero 2030, to communities getting on with the job, there are so many projects demonstrating the interconnectedness of the Sustainable Development Goals. So how can we share some of that energy and funding support with, and beyond, Greater Bristol?
That’s the question being asked in a new project led by UWE Bristol, called ENERGISE West. The project aims to energise climate action groups in the West of England to enable citizen-led emissions reduction in communities. There’s a big focus on energy, hence the acronym; ‘Enabling Networks for Energy Research and Generation via Informal Social Exchange in the West of England’. The idea is to share learning between climate action groups, enabling better connections between Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and North Somerset.
The project is being run in partnership with Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s Community Climate Action Project and Bristol Energy Network and their Community Strategy for Energy. The UWE team includes Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers from the School of Engineering, Dr Deborah Adkins, Dr Ben Williams and Dr Kwok Chun from the School of Architecture and Environment, and Dr Paul Matthews from the School of Computing and Creative Technologies. The teams will also be drawing on learning from their previous European public engagement and citizen science projects, including ClairCity which focussed on citizen-led emissions reductions, and WeCount which empowered citizens to campaign on transport using window traffic sensors.
The first stage of the 6 month project is a survey about home energy and climate action and will be followed by focus groups with climate action groups in Bristol and the West of England. The project aims to develop understanding of rural community assets and stakeholders across the West of England, in order to develop a model of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) for the wider West of England. The ultimate goal is to simultaneously address energy poverty and reduce greenhouse emissions, while building community support for a just transition to net zero.
We’re looking for residents and climate action groups who can contribute to the anonymous survey. It only takes 10 minutes and will form the foundation for policy discussions around energy decision-making in Greater Bristol, along with ideas to energise wider community climate action support. Let us know your ideas for reducing energy costs and carbon emissions in Bristol and the surrounding areas!
You can take part in the survey here – please share! https://uwe.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cYAiiSL15C5C1FQ